Computational Law and Access to Justice


  • Natalie Byrom UCL Faculty of Laws


civil justice, access to justice, data, AI, law, human rights


Increasingly claims are made about the potential for computational technology to address the access to justice crisis. Advocates for AI argue that these tools can extend the protection of the law to the estimated 5.1billion people worldwide who are unable to secure meaningful access to justice, whilst also creating efficiency savings and reducing the cost of administering justice. Globally, court digitisation efforts are rapidly increasing the volume, granularity and accessibility of data about civil justice systems and the people who access them and in doing so, creating the datasets and the infrastructure needed to support the deployment of computational technologies at scale. What are the prospects for these developments to meaningfully improve access to justice? What research should be prioritised and what changes to policy and regulation are required?

This paper argues that the potential for computational technologies to address the civil access to justice crisis is undermined by: i.) an impoverished understanding of the nature of the crisis – at both a theoretical and empirical level ii.) misalignment between the values that are currently driving the turn to computational law and the goal of increasing rights realisation and accountability  and iii.) the failure to address the ecosystem factors (access to data, access to funding and regulation) that would support the development of computational technologies in the interests of access to justice. The paper concludes by suggesting next steps for the field. 





20 May 2024
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How to Cite

Byrom, Natalie. 2024. “Computational Law and Access to Justice”. Journal of Cross-Disciplinary Research in Computational Law 2 (2).